It’s been over four months since ITZY dropped “In the morning” (also known as “Mafia”), but it’s only getting better with age. But did you know that the song you love now was originally a very different sounding track? “In the morning” was first produced by songwriting duo LYRE, then edited into the final song by JYP Entertainment founder J. Y. Park. In a recent social media update, LYRE’s Alina Smith revealed what the song sounded like before those changes.
The first major change made to “In the morning” is a change that many K-Pop songs go through before they’re released: rewriting the lyrics in Korean. Like most tracks penned by international songwriters, “In the morning” was written in English to begin with.
So, when J. Y. Park wrote the song’s new lyrics, lines like “I’m the one and only” and “I got racks on racks on racks” in the demo version became Yeji‘s “Time for the operation” and “Stealing, stealing, stealing your heart” in the Korean version. In another video about writing Red Velvet‘s “Talk to Me,” Smith explained that even though the language of the lyrics changes, the Korean words are often chosen to sound like the English words in the original demo.
The lyrical change to “In the morning” was relatively minor and to be expected, but the other two edits made to the song gave it a completely different vibe. For one, Smith revealed that the original “In the morning” had a completely different pre-chorus to the final version.
The parts of the song where Lia and Chaeryeong sing, “Baby you’re confused, confused, you’re so confused / You’re gonna be mine at the end, you are,” were definitely unforgettable. In the original demo, however, those parts don’t exist at all. Instead, the demo singer (fellow LYRE member Elli Moore) sang, “You know I’m the queen, you know I’m the bomb,” over a different beat that ended in progressively descending notes.
And that’s not all that changed—the original chorus instrumental was totally replaced too. “Funnily enough,” said Smith before revealing her demo version, “this is actually the part we started writing the song with. None of the other parts existed yet.”
Without a doubt, the key element of the chorus is ITZY’s iconic line: “I’m the mafia.” But that aside, it could’ve sounded a lot different without J. Y. Park’s edits. Here’s what the instrumental behind that line used to be before the changes.
Ultimately, there’s no denying that both versions of “In the morning” are great, but they have completely different vibes. Which is your favorite?
To hear more about how “In the morning” came together, watch LYRE’s production overview on YouTube: